hildeguardog's Diaryland Diary

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Steven Owens

It’s February again. I’ve written many a paper on people like Martin Luther King and George Washington Carver, so I figured I’d try to get a little more personal this time. I’m avoiding an essay about notorious black heroes and heroines because, first of all, I know several black people that openly object to a month with a title like this. Their reasoning is, basically, that if you want to study an engineer, find the pioneer of that profession— race doesn’t matter. Second of all, setting aside a certain month for the history of a certain race kind of defeats the purpose of everything Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and countless others stood for; race shouldn’t matter.
Now where were we… I used to play in relatively non-competitive basketball leagues. I’d usually know a few people on the team I was on, but that was not the case during the winter while I was in 5th grade. At the first practice, I realized I was not one of the better players on the team, and for once my team wasn’t going to lose every game.
Well, I did recognize one person, though. His name was Steven Owens, the bully at my school. A heavy-set kid with brown skin, he was constantly being singled out as the troublemaker by substitute teachers. He had never hassled me before, I was just assuming from stories. I don’t remember exactly how it happened, but he came over before practice one day and we ate pop tarts.
That particular basketball season came and went, as we were the best team, but not before I got the chance to invite Steven over to play Nintendo sometime.
“Scott, Santa’s here!” I could’ve sworn my mom had yelled that to me as I was still in bed on that Saturday in December. I guess I heard her wrong— it was Steven. I threw on some clothes and we went and played Kobe Bryant’s new video game.
We remained good friends up until our graduation some three and a half years later. It wasn’t all video games and basketball, though. He blindly taught me to refuse stereotypes, even though I had no idea what a stereotype was at that age. Sure, it had to do with race to an extent, but he also kind of backed up the popular saying telling people not to judge a book by its cover.

3:46 a.m. - Saturday, Feb. 12, 2005

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